Josh and Benny Safdie, the writer-director brothers behind 2019’s Adam Sandler-led indie film
hit masterpiece “Uncut Gems,” aren’t just geniuses of anxiety-inducing auteur cinema.
We present to you:
How To Save the NBA (and All Other Pro Sports) Under Quarantine.
What if the NBA had each player play as themselves on NBA 2k and we all watched that?
— SAFDIE (@JOSH_BENNY) March 17, 2020
Okay, so, yes: This idea is absurd. This idea is galaxy brain. Because playing video game basketball is nothing like playing actual basketball. Even if you’re a professional basketball player (and maybe especially if you’re a basketball player).
But watching them try would be nothing if not entertaining.
Apparently, this isn’t the first time this idea’s been floated, either, as the Safdies seemingly tapped into something potent in the collective unconscious:
Since they NBA season is cancelled they should just livestream all the players playing against each other as themselves on NBA2k
— Randall Otis (@RandallOtisTV) March 12, 2020
It’s not like NBA players aren’t already all over Twitch already. Per an ESPN report, NBA players have already taken to the service, where you can stream people playing video games, in droves. NBA teams themselves have already started streaming video game matches following their game schedules, pitting elite video game players against each other to represent their teams.
And if you don’t think there’s an audience for two gamers to play basketball against each other, think again:
The stream was a success, consistently in the 4,500-5,000 range in terms of viewers. At one point, the stream reached more than 12,000 viewers, which is an impressive number on Twitch for NBA2K game streams.
Yes, it would be absurd.
Yes, it would be a mess.
But also, yes, the world can’t watch Rudy Gobert get dunked on soon enough.
This idea has legs. They are pixelated, athletic, and ready to play. Please, god, let the NBA 2k20 Quarantine Season of Mess commence.